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Gen. 41:1-57 - God Is In Control - Part 3

Where we left off last week we saw Joseph boldly answering the Pharaohs question as to what do do about his dreams which were interpreted by Joseph. Well, then notice Pharaoh's reaction, vs. 39...

Vs. 39-57 - “Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my palace,and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”

So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in- command, and people shouted before him, “Make way!” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt.

Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.” Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife.And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt.

Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout Egypt. During the seven years of abundance the land produced plentifully. Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it.

Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.

Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On.

Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” The second son he named Ephraim (and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”

The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food.

{#17} When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.”

When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt. And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.”

This right here is what God was bringing Joseph to all along! Our lives are NOT a series of disjointed events, of which it would have been very easy for Joseph to think such because of all the various troubles he had gone through.

ALL designed to get him here!

So Joseph now is prime minister of the most powerful nation in the world. And it is now through Joseph’s exalted position in the context of this famine where God is going to begin to fulfill His covenant promises by leading this camp of Jacob into “Goshen” there in Egypt where He’s going to develop and multiply them.

None of these events were disjointed. Even as the events in our own lives, they are not disjointed trials and difficulties that just HAPPEN to come our way. They have been ordered in such a way that God’s will and God’s purposes for your lives could be served.

Very powerful imagery in vs. 42. Here was Joseph, in the prison house, and now notice the king of the world is adorning him in the finest clothes, putting a ring on his finger and gold around his neck, and this imagery is emblematic of the change that the Lord desires to bring about in you and I.

Here we are, clothed in the filth of this world, and our true King desires to clothe us in the righteousness of Christ, in the fine robe of righteousness, and He desires to build and develop that strength and faith and character within us, that one day, in the eternal realm, He might reward us in an exalted position for you and I as well.

So this imagery from the poor house to a place of exaltation is emblematic of what the Lord would have for us. Remember, God is doing in you an eternal work, don’t let go of that. So fantastic picture again, of God being in total control and what comes to pass for those who will simply be faithful to Him (1 Sam. 2:30).

In all of this we continue to see powerful points of Joseph being a type of Christ. Let’s look at a few more.

Notice Joseph is 30 when he is exalted. Exact age we know Christ was when He began His ministry (Luke 3:23).

Secondly, Joseph was rejected by his natural brothers, thrown into the pit, and here he is elevated by foreigners, even as Christ was rejected by His brothers, the Jews, and elevated by the Gentile Church. We are in this dispensation we know as the Church age.

Notice that Joseph takes an Eqyptian wife, a Gentile wife, even as Christ took upon Himself for a bride the Gentile Church, the Bride of Christ. (Rev. 21:2; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:24).

Thirdly, notice upon the famine coming to pass in vs. 55, the great king of Egypt, the king of then, the world, tells his worried and hungry people of the day - “Go to Joseph” - even as the True King of the universe tells worried and hungry men and women of today - Go to Jesus!

They were going to buy grain, and Christ calls Himself what? The bread of life - Go to Jesus, the bread of life and find your hunger satisfied in Him (John 6:35).

So again, the typology here is fascinating and just continues to develop. not JUST the Jews, but notice ALL the world now is going to Joseph as even now all

Notice vs. 57, it’s NOT just the Egyptians, even as with Christ, it was the world is to come to Christ. (Rom. 14:11; Isiah 45:23).

Another interesting detail that we would do well not to overlook here is the names that he gives to his 2 sons. As we have seen, the Hebrews name they're kids according to the circumstances surrounding their birth.

He names the first kid Menassa, which means “to forget,” putting behind him all the garbage and all the heartache that he endured.

Then he names the second kid Ephram, which means “fruitfulness.”

God is just blessing him beyond his wildest dreams here.

There are 2 things that God has called us to as well. He calls us to forget those things which are behind us, forget the phone calls, forget the hurt, forget the heartache, forget the insults and offenses, and to press ON to those things that God has for us. (Phil. 3:13-14).

And God also calls us to be fruitful (John 15:16). God is looking for in us fruit that remains.

Another important thing, hermeneutics 101 - always important in the scriptures is to notice the order in which things are laid out. No accident by the H.S.

The first is Menassa, to forget, THEN we have Ephram, fruitfulness. So the order - forget, fruitfulness. The idea that is being suggested here is that: we must first let go of and get behind us those offenses and those hurts if we are to truly move forward then to be fruitful.

God has moved marvelously in the life of this man of the faith, and that then sets up the next set of events to ultimately get this family to Egypt. And we will cover that in ch. 42 in the next few weeks.

So let me finish with this: Just as Joseph’s exaltation was not just for himself, so too Jesus’ exaltation leads to blessings for all nations, if they will come and bow the knee before Him. He Himself is the true bread of heaven, the one whose broken body is the source of all life. He invites all those who are hungry to come to Him and eat, and all who are thirsty to come to Him and drink. Jesus doesn’t sell His produce to the highest bidder: He gives it freely to those who have no money to buy it.

The salvation that Jesus offers is not based on you performing a certain number of good deeds, or vowing to quit all your evil habits. It is given to you freely, without cost. All you have to do is come to Jesus as a helpless refugee seeking food. You come with empty hands and nothing to give, asking Jesus to give you the perfect righteousness that you need to stand before God. All those who come to Him on those terms will be welcomed into the kingdom and will never be sent away. The Father can never forget those for whom Christ died.

What’s more, when God comes into your life, He makes you forget your sufferings and makes you fruitful in His land of afflictions. He enables you to set your pains and difficulties, past and present, in the context of the glorious inheritance that He has prepared for all those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. He will use all of the trials and challenges that He brings into your life to grow your love. Your hope, and your faith.

He will also use them to develop your longing for our true home, the place where all our tears will finally be wiped away and forgotten, where our hearts will finally be healed, and where the full harvest of God’s redemptive work in our lives will be revealed.

This world is NOT our home. This is the land of our affliction. God can and will make us fruitful here by His grace. But we must never forget that there is another land that God has prepared for His people, a land without affliction or pain, where He wants even now to welcome us forever.


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